Author's Ramblings: Thanks to everyone who gave feedback especially
the ones who've given repeated ones through out all this stuff --gawd,
this is sounding like a farewell speech! Yeuch.
Just in case there wasn't enough sugar in there for you all, the title is from a very famous poem. Gold star to anyone who can tell me the author, the poem itself, and why I consider it more sugar ;)
There was something strangely comforting in sitting before a fireplace big enough to cook you whole. Remy was six feet flat and there was still room left over to spit a pumpkin or five; an imposing fire indeed. He thought it might be what the bowels of Hell looked like. Not the ordinary bowels, but the Devil's very own where the flames toasted instead of roared.
Remy welcomed the heat threatening to singe his whiskers off. His personal vision of hell was the icy slope outside. He'd never understand why Marie voluntarily strapped herself of a plank of fibreglass and threw herself off a cliff over and over again. For fun, she said.
Fun was rewiring the latest security device out of Tokyo. Fun was dangling by a wire, working your way through a laser lattice. Fun was sneaking into a room two seconds after the security guard left. Fun was not repeated suicidal attempts via a combination of hypothermia and a broken bones. Remy shook his head in bemusement, returning his focus to the plans.
Blueprints covered the floor interspersed with madly scribbled printouts and post-it notes in seventeen different colours. Marie used to tease him about his obsessive-compulsive colour-coding but after a while, she grudgingly admitted that they worked. To her credit, Marie knew how to turn a profit. All those essays weren't as useless as Remy first thought. Thanks to her, intake doubled in from last year. Who knew a few pieces of broken pottery would sell for so much? Collectors were a strange idiotic bunch, Remy decided, and fully deserving to be fleeced.
"For what are you laughing, monsieur?" Arms snaked around his shoulders and down his chest. A thick black curl tumbled in front of his eyes.
"I was thinkin' of you, sheri."
His captor giggled. "Monsieur, you are making me to blush!"
She giggled again, making Remy's stomach muscles clench. "Mais, monsieur, I 'ave seen you wiz anot'er woman, non?"
"Oh, her?" He snorted derisively. "Forget her, sheri. A necessary evil, she is. I let her tag along to feel important. Besides, she's not here right now, is she?" He walked his fingers up from her wrist to her elbow, his sanded fingertips gliding over the black lace sleeve with ease.
"Oui, I 'ave seen 'er on ze slopes." She leaned closer, wagging her head so that her hair tickled his nose. "She t'inks she eez-how do you say?-'ot stuff?"
"Lies, all lies!" He brushed off the comment with a flippant hand gesture. "After all, she actually shaves her armpits."
'Oh, no, no, no!"
"Oh, yes, yes, yes," Remy said gravely. "Plus, when she orders at a restaurant, she actually expects to be served a full meal."
"That's not the worst of it." He pulled her closer by a handful of hair. "Do you want to hear the worst?"
"I am, as you say, all ears," his visitor whispered.
"The very, very, very worst of all," he continued, winding her hair around his fingers, "is she never, ever, ever, puts out."
He squawked as she smacked him on the head. Sensing another attack, Remy rolled out of the chair to a safe five feet away.
Marie was furious. After years of borderline obsession and months of cohabitation, he could read her body language as easily as he could hotwire an El Camino. Her fists were on her hips which were canted slightly to her left. With her knees locking her legs apart and her head dipped forward, she seemed like a bull ready to charge. The best indicators of her mood, however, were her eyes; even narrowed, her green irises fair snapped his nose off.
Remy held his hands up. "It was a joke, sheri."
"I hate those jokes." Huffily, she flicked back her hair. Damn, it looked good dyed black like that. And all those big, bedroom curls? Co! it was enough to make a man beg.
"Aw, Marie, ma sheri." Remy put on his best pathetic face. "I'm sorry. You go ahead an' hit me, come on." He offered up a cheek. God knew what he'd do if she took him seriously-well, besides look for all the broken pieces of his face.
Thankfully, she only cupped his chin. Her fleece gloves caught on his whiskers, smoothed them down. She then batted at the soft, blonde spikes of his hair. Neither one of them liked the style but it was a necessity. "You are such an ass," she sighed, snuggling up to his chest.
"An' you're a little bitch, so that makes us about even, hein?"
Smiling into his sweater, Marie drawled, "Maybe."
"You're leaving room for agreement at least." Remy positioned her arms around his waist so she was as close as possible while he explored her body. He started kneading her shoulders then followed the arabesque line of her spine. He didn't really think he made a dent in her muscles considering her new-found strength but he adored the feel of her and how every bit of contact seemed to release her perfume: magnolias and sweat and alpine air and hot chocolate and static.
He squeezed her hips again. Ah, there it was. Someone who ate as much chocolate as she did must taste as sweet.
"Remy." Marie said languorously as he pressed kisses into her hair. "Remember what I said this morning about accepting that job from Suszko?"
He shook his head, busy strategizing an attack on her ear with his teeth.
Exhaling loudly, a smidge irritated, Marie elaborated, "The one in Philadelphia that I spent all of yesterday researching."
He hovered his hand over her mouth. "Marie, ma sheri, let's not talk shop when we're makin' out."
She pushed his hand back down, using enough pressure to make him wince. "It's a good job, Remy. The pay off is huge. You just don't want to go because it'll take us back to the States." She craned her head away. "Why are you so afraid of going back home?"
"I ain't afraid to go back," Remy said, tamping down frustration-fuelled anger. "It's just that we got it good here. No one bugs me about my eyes or you about your gloves. An' the things we pinch, sher!" He rolled his eyes. "I di'in know there was that much money in a bank, never mind belonging to one person. Look at what it got us."
Marie nodded reluctantly. She didn't need to see the details of the suite again; she was the one who chose it. "It's just Don't you feel bad? Leaving everyone worried?"
"Them? Worried?" He let out a curt laugh. "Mais, we let them know we're alive, don't we? All Xavier really wants to know is whether or not we still interested in fighting for his personal crusade."
Marie ripped herself out of his arms. "Why are you being so damn callous?"
"Why you bein' so sensitive? Dieu, where was all this concern a couple months ago?" He ran his hands through his hair, wishing he could pull it out. "I'm sorry, okay? Remy's Apology Number 461."
Guardedly expressionless, Marie wandered to the laptop. It was hooked up to another two monitors showing a live stream tapped from a couple lobby cameras. She clicked around for a while before taking a seat, her eyes glued resolutely to the screen. Remy was behind her in a flash, leaning down for an embrace.
"I said I'm sorry," he repeated, stifling an inpatient sigh.
Marie relaxed back into him so that her head rested in the dip under his jaw. "So am I. We're been picking fights with each other weeks now and I'm so freaking sick of it."
"I keep telling you it's all this sexual tension." He cupped her breasts lightly. "Come on, Marie, ma sheri, just this once let me."
She stiffened. "Why are you so bloody obsessed with sex?"
"Why are you so obsessed with talking?" he shot back.
"Just answer the question, Remy!" Marie bellowed, slamming her fist through the desk.
Remy jumped back, surprise quickly followed by icy fury. "Ain't nothing wrong with enjoying sex," he muttered, glaring at the sparkling white mountainside.
"There ain't nothing wrong unless that's all you ever want to do." She stood to drag his should back, to try and force him to look at her eyes. "You never just say 'I love you, Marie,' you just go straight for my ass. Hell, we don't even have our old talks any more. It's just about sex and the pinch now--"
Shoving her hand away, Remy stalked to the middle of the room. The volume of her voice increased.
"--and I'm feeling like on this broken emotional roller-coaster
that stalls just before we go over the peak, leaving me hanging."
Remy whirled around violently. "The only reason you're having drama is 'cause you're makin' drama," he claimed, pointing an accusatory finger. "It's always about you gettin' emotional an' an' you havin' the worst damn power ever cursed by God an' you wantin' to talk. You're so fuckin' obsessed with talkin' when it's completely useless rehashin' things. I'm so sick of it!"
Marie's jaw dropped. "So," she began, "So what were you expecting when you dragged us out of Scotland, huh? Was I supposed to swoon in thankfulness? Coo over your rebellious manliness? Preferably with my legs spread wide twenty-four hours a day for your convenience, I bet. I might be creating drama but you're the one who's running frantically away from anything that isn't money or pussy."
"You hate me so much, why don't you just go?" he snarled. "Go on back to that school and put on that uniform and worship at the Church of Xavier some more and maybe, just maybe, one day a hundred years from now, they'll name a high school after you."
"At least I'm not actively trying to catch every STD in Europe. Newsflash, bub: they still haven't found a cure for AIDS so no matter how much jewellery you steal, you aren't going to be able to charm your way out of-"
"Phhah!" Remy swept her argument away with a bored wave.
"Don't you 'phah' me like I'm one of those bimbo's, you arrogant prick!" In three long strides, Marie crossed the room and pushed Remy on the bed. "I came with you because I remembered you being my friend."
"No, you didn't!" Remy tried to stand back up, but she made to shove him back down. He caught her wrists. "You came because you were scared of them. You took the easy way out, too, sher."
"I did not!" She struggled to push him down, to hammer the truth into his thick skull.
"Yes, you did!" He fought back, grunting against her strength.
"No, I didn't!"
Passion swung her fist. Remy landed in the middle of the bed, his breath knocked out the window. Never exposed to the rule "never hit a girl," Remy lashed out with his foot, catching her jaw with the ball of his palm as she went down.
"You fucker!" Marie yanked a handful of his hair and buried her elbow into his gut with her other arm.
Teeth clenched, Remy paid back the elbow with a knee to her kidneys. She released his hair just long enough for him to roll over her, trapping her body between his knees. Marie growled. Both fists shot up for his throat. Remy blocked them with one arm. She bucked him off but he landed a glancing shot at the same kidney he'd bruised a second ago. Marie ignored the injury, following Remy down the length of the bed, her fists landing jabs as quickly on as many places as she could manage. Remy blocked them best he could but his forearms were beginning to feel like mush. Rearing back, he butted his head against Marie's nose.
Yowling, Rogue threw herself off him. Now it was Remy's turn to pounce. He pulled her leg up towards him, the heel of one foot slamming under her arm. In a normal human, it would have wrenched her shoulder off. Marie twisted, kicking her leg up even as she went down. Her shin connected with his elbow and her foot with his temple. Marie recovered more rapidly. Even as Remy was shaking his double vision away, she was on him again, screaming incoherently.
Remy barely caught her hands inches from his neck. Freeing one leg from under her, he tried to push her off, to kick to her off, buck the raging banshee off his body so he could be the one to wrap his fingers around that lovely neck. She grunted and bore down harder, trapping his leg between her thighs as she leaned forward, one knee precariously close to his groin. She was going to break a bone, the way she was squeezing! Remy mashed down on her wrist bones as hard as he could. He repeatedly kneed her side with his free leg but she was intent on his throat. She wasn't even yelling anymore, just growling and making little hiccupping sounds that he refused to believe were sobs.
Finally, he was able to wrap his left leg around Marie's waist. Taking a deep breath, Remy bared his teeth and pushed, driving her off balance. He was back on top again. Grunting with the effort, he trapped her hands at her sides, using his upper body weight to keep her down. Their legs fought for domination, kicking and wrapping around each other, knees aching to cause pain, feet pushing against any surface. Marie shrieked and arched her back; Remy thrust against it. She pushed again and again and again but each time, he threw her balance off enough to keep the upper hand. She bent one leg between then bodies, trying to kick him off but he hooked his arm under it and held it up. That left one of her hands free; she dragged her nails across his face.
"Who's the fucker now, hein?" he hissed. "Who's the fucker now?" With every word, he used his weight to push her leg further and further down on the bed, one knee bent under her hips for leverage; any more and a muscle would give. She clouted him on the head and, when that spattered spit and blood, reached up to bite his chin. At the same time, he shoved his head down against her throat.
Their mouths cracked together. Blood and sweat and hair and saliva mixed between their lips. Mixed as tongues sought and met and wrestled, too, as noses bumped, as they sucked the very air from each others' lungs. Remy pushed Marie's forehead away, wiping off her tears as he did so but she grabbed him by the ears and mashed their faces together again. He moaned, tasted, pulled back again.
"Don't you want this?" she demanded, fighting to bring him closer.
"You are a fucker," he replied, his voice harsh but weary.
Suddenly, everything hurt. Remy slumped into Marie, all his bones gone jelly-like. She softened as well, her arms and legs naturally wrapping around him, her cheek pressed against his unusually light hair.
"It's not that I don't' want to," she whispered, endless seconds later. "It's just When I try to It hurts me to touch you. Words are all I have." Her voice broke at the last word.
"Ah, dieu." Using her hair as a barrier, he cupped her face and wiped her tears. "Don't cry, Marie-ma-sheri. I can't freakin' breathe when you cry, you know that. It hurts me to touch you, too. You don't think it hurts me to touch you? It does almost as much as it hurts to love you."
Marie swore. Her sniffling moderated the vulgarity. Letting her head drop back-somehow they'd migrated to the edge of the bed-she asked, "So what? We stay here, knock off a few more private museums, get into a few more arguments then hump each other's legs over and over again?"
Grinning, Remy deadpanned, "It would make a great porn."
"We are in Sweden."
They dissolved into hysterical giggles. In the next few days, just the memory of the day would make one of them start laughing and the other, catching on, would laugh as well, stopping all activity for the giggle fit. For now, however, the laughter faded into companionable smiles smothered into shoulders as they lay curled around each other.
"How much you said we were gonna get for the Philly job?"
"Gawd, Remy, you are the limit, you know that?"
"Yeah, you too, sher."